Mastermind of Navy bribery scheme escapes house arrest simply weeks ahead of sentencing - CNN

CNN  — 

Leonard Francis, the previous defense force contractor known as "fat Leonard" who orchestrated the largest corruption scandal in US Navy history, is on the run after escaping house arrest in San Diego with the aid of cutting off his GPS monitoring ankle bracelet, in keeping with the USA Marshals provider.

The get away comes simply three weeks before his sentencing.

The federal agency monitoring Francis' condo arrest, Pretrial capabilities, called the San Diego Police department on Sunday to verify on him, Supervisory Deputy US Marshal Omar Castillo advised CNN. When police found Francis' domestic empty, they contacted the U.S. Marshals, Castillo stated.

When a crew of US Marshals went to Francis' condo on Sunday, Castillo talked about, the handiest factor they found became the ankle bracelet he had bring to a halt and left in a transportable cooler.

Neighbors advised the USA Marshals that they'd lately viewed a couple of U-Haul vehicles at Francis' apartment, according to Castillo.

"It looks he has been planning this for a long time," he instructed CNN.

The Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive assignment force, San Diego division – which is run through the united states Marshals – is searching for Francis.

Castillo noted the Naval crook Investigative service (NCIS) is additionally concerned as a result of they labored on the original case.

"we've a couple of leads we're following," Castillo noted.

The San Diego Union-Tribune first mentioned Francis escaped residence arrest.

Francis, whose nickname came from his then 400-pound heft, pleaded guilty to bribery and fraud charges in 2015.

The investigation into the corruption scandal all started in 2013 and touched on capitals and ports across the Pacific, together with Singapore, Tokyo, Bangkok and Manila. throughout the probe, multiple Navy officials were arrested and accused of accepting money, prostitutes and all-prices-paid trips in trade for steerage ships to ports the place Francis' contracting business operated, featuring functions akin to fuel and tugboats.

CNN has reached out to the united states lawyer's office and the FBI in San Diego. When contacted by means of the San Diego Union-Tribune Monday, Francis' defense legal professional declined to remark.

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